Léa Martinez, GEM PGE 2018, WeWork and the importance of company culture
GEM Alumni TEAM
During a recent trip to London, Chelsea Choppy met up with Léa Martinez, GEM PGE 2018, at WeWork's brand new EMEA Headquarters that just opened in September 2019. Hear what she has to say about working in such a fast-growing company.From France to the UK, through China and the USA, Léa has already lived in four different countries. A native of Lille, France, she spent some time in San Francisco before joining GEM’s Grande Ecole program where she completed a double degree program with Shanghai’s Tongji University. Léa is no stranger to working with large companies and has always loved being in sales roles from early on. At GEM she was Director of Strategic Partnerships for the student association “Altigliss”. She’s also worked for startups and even has some experience in marketing, but she says sales is really where her heart is. She is currently based in London where she is in charge of new member development for WeWork in France & Belgium. She was kind enough to give me a tour of WeWork’s brand new EMEA Headquarters that just opened in September 2019 near London’s Waterloo station – the largest WeWork in the world! WeWork’s mission statement is “create a world where people work to make a life, not just a living,” and they ensure the consistency of spaces across the board, from New York to Hong Kong. For Léa, it’s extremely important to work for a company who shares her values. WeWork is completely free from plastic and doesn’t offer meat on their menu in order to help people choose more sustainable foods.“I feel good working for a company who makes it a priority to combat some of today’s problems to create a better tomorrow. It's part of our duty to support and actively contribute to this positive change. The goal is to raise awareness and be responsible.”But sustainability is just one of WeWork’s core values.“Although today people are more virtually connected than ever, it seems to be making us a lot more solitary in our work. Working in this kind of unique environment gives us a chance to interact with people and make human connections on a daily basis, both with our own colleagues and with employees from other companies.” They even get to hang out with the occasional animal, as WeWork is a dog-friendly place. However, Léa emphasizes that it’s not only about the set-up of the space, but about the company culture. “I can’t imagine going back to working in a traditional office environment. Here we can take time to practice meditation, or anything else we need.” WeWork emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of the services and benefits that are available, not only for the companies they rent space to, but also for their own staff. Léa will soon celebrate her first anniversary at WeWork, and so far her experience has been very exciting. Having a job in sales in such a fast-growing company is an every-day challenge that is as stimulating as it is interesting. Léa also takes part in initiatives like WISE (Women In Sales Everywhere) to stay connected with counterparts in similar positions and share experience and best practices. She states that being part of networks, like GEM Alumni, is a real strength, both professionally and personally.